*Writer’s Note: Such a story to share on Christmas Day – “California” is not in our territory, but then again, we are a blog and our territory is worldwide. If we see a good news story, we will share it*
CENTRAL VALLEY, CALIFORNIA: He doesn’t stand as “tall” as he did when he served in the United States Navy during World War II and for more than than the obvious reason – Floyd Smith is a lot older than he was then, but also because Smith was taken for $10,000 from a man he thought was a friend in need.
Smith was there in Nagaski, Hiroshima and Tokyo during the war when “the bombs were dropping …”
Though he said he doesn’t remember “stuff like he used to,” Smith remembers the bombs. “You could still see their shadow etched in the concrete.”
With all that he went through and saw during the war – the death and destruction – Smith has always been one that is easy to get a long with, and doesn’t meet a stranger.
And it was his personable and compassionate nature that led him into a ‘friendship’ with Mark Gleizer.
Flashback a few years ago – nearly 70 years after the war had ended – Smith had lost his wife, and later had gone on an “Honor Flight” – one of the flights that transport America’s veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit the memorials dedicated to honoring those who have served and sacrificed for our country.
His path crossed with Gleizer. “He helped get me some windows for my house,” Smith told various media outlets. “I figured he was a nice guy.”
It didn’t take long for Smith to realize maybe Gleizer wasn’t who he thought he was. According to Smith and paperwork that he has compiled over the . If we see a good news story, we will share it*last few years, Gleizer as in financial distress and he needed help. “He told me he needed $10,000.”
Smith, who had remarried, with his big heart, loaned it to Gleizer. “It was money that I had set apart for retirement, and we had planned on doing some traveling.”
Gleizer, even with a judgment against him and a warrant for failure to pay the court-ordered debt, has yet to pay Smith back. In fact, according to social media posts made by Gleizer, Gleizer’s doing the traveling that Smith had planned to do.
In the fall of this year, Gleizer was picked up for alleged drug possession, but was never incarcerated. In fact, he skipped town.
Go ahead, and let those feelings of anger twirl around. It gets better.
And Smith is left with nothing but bad memories, and his trust in mankind a little faltering.
“Smile and everyone smiles with you but cry and you cry alone,” Smith said.
That is until this week. As a result of Smith’s story being told through local media outlets, a fundraising website page was set up to help get Smith some of his money back.
The humbled veteran was overwhelmed when he was presented a check for $12,000 plus – the results of donations from a little less than 400 people. In addition, he and his current wife have been given a “honeymoon” present – a trip to the coast, and Beltone is fitting him with new, and much-needed hearing aids.
He said, “I tell you what, God has his arms around my shoulders.”
Yes, he does, Floyd, he does for all of us.
Now, that is a good news story, don’t you think? Merry Christmas.
(c)Images from KFSN/CNN and ABC7News
(c)Contributions from WIS10TV and ABC7News